Tuesday, 21 June 2011

You wouldn't know it to look at her....

When I bought the Observer Book of Birds earlier this year as a present for Richard, I rather fondly hoped we would finally be able to identify the birds we spot while walking around the canals and countryside.
Some hope. It is, instead, being put to macabre use identifying exactly which species has been brought in today by our Myrtle.
For such a small cat, she can drag in surprisingly large birds. She has now broken the cat flap by hauling a blackbird and a toad in, at the same time. It is impressive, yet sickening. Not helped it has to be said by Richard feeding her and being delighted at the “offerings”.
This year she is averaging at least one a day. The alleyway across from our house is becoming an avian graveyard. At least it is not like Pet Sematary and the birds come back to life and make their way over here to extract revenge.
If only she could graduate to pigeons, currently savaging our young cabbages and, worse, munching my sweet peas which have so far failed to flower. I wonder why.
Happier news on the fruit front: we have finally had a bumper crop of cherries this year, four years after planting it. The gooseberry bushes are groaning under the weight of all the goosegogs and the blackcurrants are flourishing.
We’ll be giving this recipe for gooseberry wine a whirl at the weekend. I don’t have much of a track record with home made wines, normally I end up pouring them down the sink, but we shall see….

6lb of gooseberries
3lb of sugar
1 tsp of yeast nutrient
1 tsp of brewers yeast
1 tsp of pectic enzyme
4 ltr of water approx

1. Wash and crush the gooseberries, place in suitable sized bucket.
2. Then pour on the water, stir three times daily for three days.
3. Strain the liquid through a sieve into a demijohn, then add sugar.
4. Mix thoroughly until all the sugar has dissolved, then add the rest of the ingredients.
5. Fit airlock and leave until fermentation has stopped.
6. Rack off when clear, then rack again 3 months later.
7. Bottle or drink

(with thanks to allotment.org)

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